Yamato finds that being on the track team is hard work. Exhausted after practice, he meets Hashiba Miki, a first year who really looks up to Suzuka. As the days go by, Honoka watches the track team and Yamato. She longs to be with him, but isn’t sure what to do. While in the bathhouse where Yamato lives, she learns from Yuuka that he likes Suzuka. The news puts her in a daze, so stumbles around until she opens the wrong door and gives Yamato a full view of her body. Yamato walks her home afterwords, and they eat some croquettes together. Honoka makes up her mind and joins the track team as a manager. Suzuka, on the other hand, has taken a very disdainful tone to everything Yamato does. However, after failing a jump one afternoon, she remembers all the happy times she’s spent with him.
I didn’t really like these chapters in the manga (though the bathhouse scene was quite ecchi), but I do like this episode of the anime. The reason is because these are part of a relatively boring set of chapters in the manga, but they shine rather well in the anime compared to previous episodes. The animation was significantly better, being fairly consistant throughout. I particularly liked the way the episode ended: they didn’t cut any corners and managed to capture the beauty of the scene (music was a nice addition).
Miki is a fun, playful character (and also Mentar’s favorite). We have already begun to see that she’s a good friend to both Yamato and Suzuka. She’s quite different from the shy and reserved Honoka (who happens to be my favorite). But this episode also showed some changes in Honoka’s behavior as she makes up her mind to join the track team in order to spend more time with Yamato. It’s a shame that next week’s going to be a Suzuka-centric episode. It’s titled 写真 (Photograph), so I bet you can guess what it’s about.
Closing Thought: In the course of writing this entry, I typed “Manaka” instead of “Yamato” not once, but twice. Freudian slip, perhaps…